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Bill Goldberg Was Deion Sanders' Enforcer In Atlanta Falcons Locker Room

No clue how I never stumbled upon this 1999 Sports Illustrated story on Bill Goldberg before, but it's pretty amazing. There's a long segment in which Goldberg seethes at the Atlanta Falcons for what he perceives as "milking me for everything I had" by suiting him up despite an ongoing injury, plus comments on the former Georgia Bulldogs tackle's NFL prospects by Vince Dooley and an astounding WCW story involving Scott Hall and a cattle prod (Hall: "Someone please tell Bill this is supposed to be fake").

And then there's this:

During Deion Sanders's seasons with the Falcons, players occasionally settled disputes by going at it-no holds barred-inside a makeshift ring in the locker room. Sanders, as every NFL fan knows, doesn't like to tackle. He also doesn't like to fight. But he didn't mind having Goldberg fill in for him. "Goldberg was Deion's ace in the hole," says Chuck Smith, a Falcons defensive end. "So anyone who wanted to deal with Deion would have to go through Mr. Goldberg. He'd walk into the ring, and nobody would mess with him."

According to an AJC story, Sanders was the one doing the organizing and promoting of these bouts to begin with. Thus a story about my all-time favorite pro wrestler somehow ends up making my all-time favorite football player look like the lord of badasses. Gonna read this again pretty soon.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.